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Field Report From Mars: Sol 3355 - July 2, 2013

Posted by Larry Crumpler on 2013/07/08 06:04 CDT

By Sol 3325 Opportunity has driven up onto the next "island" of rock, "Sutherland Point" and "Nobbys Head." On this sol Opportunity is only about 700 m from the goal, the mountains to the south.

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Is Opportunity near Lunokhod's distance record? Not as close as we used to think!

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/06/21 06:47 CDT | 4 comments

A few weeks ago, a press release from the Opportunity mission celebrated Opportunity's surpassing of the previous NASA off-world driving record. That record was set in December 1972 by the Apollo 17 astronauts aboard their Lunar Roving Vehicle. They seem very close to Lunokhod 2's stated 37-kilometer driving record, but hold your horses -- we now know Lunokhod went longer than we thought.

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Field Report From Mars: Sol 3317- May 24, 2013

Posted by Larry Crumpler on 2013/05/24 11:27 CDT

Opportunity finally started driving south from its location on the outcrop where it had been since solar conjunction.

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Opportunity and Curiosity updates: Rolling and drilling and a little wear on the wheels

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/05/20 11:27 CDT | 3 comments

For most of April, while Mars scuttled behind the Sun as seen from Earth, both Mars rovers were pretty inactive. Now that conjunction has ended, both are doing what rovers should be doing: roving and exploring. As of sol 3312 Opportunity had moved more than 300 meters southward toward Solander Point, while on her sol 279 Curiosity drilled at a second site, Cumberland.

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Field Report From Mars: Sol 3310- May 17, 2013

Posted by Larry Crumpler on 2013/05/17 11:27 CDT

Opportunity has finally completed the detailed survey of the outcrops on the Cape York segment of the rim of the 22-km diameter Endeavour crater.

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Planetary Society Hangout: A Day in the Life of the Opportunity Rover with Emily Dean
Thursday, May 9, at noon PDT/1900h UTC

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2013/05/09 02:20 CDT | 1 comments

Thursday, May 9th, at noon PDT/3pm EDT/1900h UTC, we are joined by Emily Dean, who works on the camera team for the Opportunity rover on Mars.

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No Place Like Home

Posted by Bill Dunford on 2013/04/21 03:07 CDT | 6 comments

Mars and Earth share a truly striking family resemblance, but there's no mistaking which one is home.

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Field Report From Mars: Sols 3237-3262 - March 4–29, 2013

Posted by Larry Crumpler on 2013/03/29 11:27 CDT

Flash memory or computer problems oddly occurred on both Curiosity and Opportunity around Feb 27. One possibility is that a large solar flare resulted in radiation at Mars sufficient to temporarily corrupt the memory on both rovers.

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LPSC 2013: Sedimentary stratigraphy with Curiosity and Opportunity

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/03/20 04:19 CDT | 4 comments

A mind-boggling quantity of information is being presented at the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference. In my first report from the meeting, I try to make sense of the Curiosity and Opportunity sessions.

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Field Report From Mars: Sol 3220-3236 - March 1, 2013

Posted by Larry Crumpler on 2013/03/01 10:27 CST

Opportunity completed the observations of the outcrop noted in the previous report and has now moved back down slope.

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Webcast Tonight! Planetary Scientist and Society President Jim Bell
Watch It Live or Later On Demand

Posted by Mat Kaplan on 2013/02/20 07:59 CST

Professor Bell's topic is "Exploring Mars, the Moon, Asteroids, and Comets with Rovers and Landers," and there is no one better to talk about this subject.

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Field Report From Mars: Sol 3215-3219 - February 6-13, 2013

Posted by Larry Crumpler on 2013/02/13 10:27 CST

We have been seeing lots of small light-colored veins crossing through the outcrops here on Matijevic Hill, and we have tried to get a handle on the composition of these veins by doing multiple offsets with the APXS. It appears that the small veins are calcium sulfate, as best we can determine.

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Field Report From Mars: Sol 3182-3188 - January 6-11, 2013

Posted by Larry Crumpler on 2013/01/11 10:27 CST

We finished up with examination of the big outcrop ("Copper Cliff") and moved to the next target over the weekend. With that drive Opportunity completed the loop around Matijevic Hill and is now back where it started on the big loop to examine the outcrops.

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Looking ahead to spacecraft activities in 2013

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/01/04 01:09 CST | 3 comments

2013 is going to be a busy year in space exploration. Two missions launch to the Moon (LADEE and Chang'E 3), and another two to Mars (MAVEN and India's mission). Curiosity should drive to the Mountain, and Opportunity to the next site on Endeavour's rim. Cassini will be seeing rings and Titan. Others should continue routine operations, except maybe MESSENGER, whose fate after March is not yet decided.

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Planetary Society Weekly Hangout, Thu Jan 3 1200PT/2000UT: Jim Bell

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/01/02 12:32 CST | 3 comments

Join Emily Lakdawalla and Casey Dreier for a chat with Jim Bell, a scientist who wears many hats. He's the team lead for the Pancam color cameras on the Spirit and Opportunity rovers; he's a member of the Curiosity science team; and he's the esteemed President of the Planetary Society's Board of Directors. We'll talk about the great science being done by both Curiosity and Opportunity, and about what's in store for the future.

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Field Report From Mars: Sol 3151-3153 - December 5-7, 2012

Posted by Larry Crumpler on 2012/12/07 10:27 CST

An attempt to bump left and get a small bright vein into the instrument deployment device (IDD) work volume failed to get the target in the work plane.

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Field Report From Mars: Sol 3150 - December 3, 2012

Posted by Larry Crumpler on 2012/12/03 10:27 CST

Here at station 14 we have decided to do a detailed investigation of an outcrop that is well exposed and lies within an area where there is orbital remote-sensing evidence for clay minerals. These particular rocks are interesting in that they contain a lot of thin veins and alteration zones along joints (cracks) in the outcrops.

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Field Report From Mars: Sol 3111- October 23, 2012

Posted by Larry Crumpler on 2012/10/23 11:27 CDT

We on the MER Opportunity science team are currently doing an “outcrop walk” with Opportunity on the slopes of Cape York, a small residual part of the rim on the 20+ km diameter Endeavour Crater, Mars.

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What's Up in the Solar System in October 2012

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2012/09/28 05:27 CDT | 2 comments

Welcome to my monthly survey of the activities of robots across the solar system! Tomorrow is the equinox at Mars; both Curiosity and Opportunity will be spending the month actively analyzing Martian rocks. It'll be a less active month for Cassini, as Saturn passes through solar conjunction late next month.

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Outcrop Ahead for Opportunity!

Posted by Stuart Atkinson on 2012/09/07 01:12 CDT | 1 comments

Oppy is opening an exciting new chapter in her adventure at Cape York. Having driven down to, over and past Whim Creek, she has now explored halfway down Cape York, to a promising fin-like ridge of dark rock.

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